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Thanks to Prof. Laszlo Zsolnai (University of Budapest), who did the tremendous job of selecting and editing the 18 high quality papers, I received my personal copy of this highly recommendable publication.
The book refers to our 3 day encounter in September 2012 in Visegrad, Hungary where each of the papers and many more were presented. I reported about the extraordinary encounter through this same blog “why everyone avoids spirituality” .Why everyone avoid spirituality
Today, at the time of appearance of this book, we are 2 years further in time. The venture described through my paper in the book is now extending into varios cities across the Netherlands and will also be deployed throughout Europe. Other Sustainocratic ventures were born and grow equivalently proving the spiritual and scientific significance of this international publication, the first of its kind.
Download the letter here: PopeFrancisinvite
Eindhoven: May 21st, 2014
Your (W)Holiness Pope Francis,
There are various imperative reasons for me to address you personally, inviting you, together with the infrastructure and members of the Catholic Church, to take responsibility with me, using “Sustainocracy and the STIR loop”, to address the global humanitarian issues of our mutual concern (poverty, pollution, migrations, climate changes, human made and natural disasters, etc).
This letter introduces my peaceful yet powerfully logical approach, developed after many experimental practical steps, with strong spiritual enlightenment and guidance. It has now reached enough proven results and precedents to be able to expand across the world. This I cannot do alone, it would take too long. The Catholic Church is one of the few organizations that has all the instruments readily available for rapid and correct positioning of this transformative solution into the world. Here I explain why, how I envisage the process, with what precedents. In no circumstances political or economic standpoints will be taken, just humanitarian with sustainable human progress.
Recognizing the real problem
We both agree, in view of your acceptance of the position Holy Father as Jesuit and public appearances since then, that the current human system’s complexity, based on taxable consumer economics, produce consequences that need to be addressed urgently with sense of awareness and responsibility. We do not only cause poverty and migrations of desperate people, we also damage our environment to such an extent that the problems grow exponentially through human and natural catastrophes. We can attribute large part of the problems to the reigning political and economic systems with related human cultures. These systems, no matter how small or large, are complexly interrelated in a network of fragmented pieces of institutionalized self interest.
It are not just the parts of this puzzle that cause the problems, it is the complex way that all the parts interact together.
Acceptance of a humanitarian problem is not enough
Most political and social structures in the world accept the global issues as something that needs to be solved but find that their support is minimized by defending other priorities. The economic system’s reality sees the consequences as costs rather than humanitarian pain. It searches economic growth to address its consequences at the expense of making things worse. Political and economic leaders depend on this culture to obtain and sustain their position of authority. Their task is to provide for fragmented system growth, not for the holistic sustainable progress. Within the system they can feel solidarity with the complexity problem but cannot feel accountable for the solution as they only cover a minor part. The priorities of their functions are simply different, not interconnected in humanitarian responsibilities, just material ones.
“Sustainocracy” determines, based on historical evidence, that a society does not prosper in stability and wellness through speculative growth and competition. Instead it requires keeping harmonic stability in the following 5 collective local values:
- human health,
- food (including drinking water),
- self awareness and
- self sufficiency.
When these values are not co-created and accounted for, the community becomes vulnerable, resulting always into dramatic periods of chaos, war and collapse. Preceding collapse there is always a rise of poverty, criminality, large differences in wealth development, growing bureaucracy, etc. On a local and global level all signs are alarming.
The Sustainocratic values should always be placed above economic and political interests, becoming a practical and democratic guidance for sustainable human progress. Considering this we can determine that the entire global human community is dangerously vulnerable and the system’s complexity only builds up the tension further until it collapses. In practical reality we can state that the current system’s complexity of consumer economics and financing of consequences through economic growth is the kernel of the problem. If we want to develop a stable, safe and progressive global community we need to redefine the system’s complexity and take transformative initiatives between one system and the other. This is a delicate problem that requires leadership, determination and transformative steps that allows for a peaceful transition without a global collapse, involving current system leaders, not excluding them.
Sustainocracy is a new system’s complexity, the STIR Loop the transformative means
Sustainable human progress is defined as: “to continuously work together to cocreate a healthy, safe, vital, self aware and self sufficient human community within the ever changing complexity of our natural surroundings.” When we put these natural humanitarian objectives upfront our democratic processes we get a new way of addressing our choices and priorities. This is then referred to as Sustainocracy (Sustainable human progress + Democracy).
Sustainocracy is then a choice, an understanding, just like any other paradigm. It does however offer better co-creative perspectives to solve global issues on a local basis than other paradigms, such as the one based on taxable consumer economics. Everybody, individually as self aware human being or as professional in a position of authority, can be invited to take responsibility and contribute to Sustainocracy through personal commitment. In fact, both paradigms can be positioned in parallel to each other to solve the most important humanitarian priorities first. In Holland we started with air quality. On islands such as Japan, Taiwan, Madagascar or the UK, we suggested to work on self-sufficiency in view of the vulnerability of millions of people after peak-oil. Coastal areas, with millions of people living in cities, need to address safety as a consequences of climate change and rising sea levels. Food and drinking water are issues for everyone, as well as new educational systems to prepare our current and next generations for their own primary humanitarian responsibilities. To do so we need to disentangle the financial dependence of transactions, debt and manipulation from the value driven responsibilities of local sustainable progress.
Initiating the STIR Loop
We distinguish now two different realities or paradigms: the local economic and political system’s reality and the choice to co-create Sustainocracy based on spiritual awareness and natural values. I have drawn these two realities as triangles among which there is a field of human made tension that can develop into sustainable progress or chaos and collapse:
Two system’s in tension produce a choice through awareness
When presenting Sustainocracy as a functional alternative for co-creating humanitarian values in a new system’s complexity, anyone can be asked to participate and take responsibility. When a local humanitarian problem grows sufficiently out of hand to unstabilize the economic and political reality of a region then even the people in charge are willing to use and connect their authority to make a difference out of self interest.
Instead of addressing the consequences (s.a. air pollution, poverty, migrations, rising sea levels, etc) with financial means we invite all the affected to take responsibility for the real humanitarian needs (health, food, safety, etc) together with effort and talent. We always need to involve the 4 cornerstones of regional development to interact together:
- The local population itself (behavior)
- The local governance (infrastructure)
- Business (creativity)
- Science (knowledge)
These are used to interact in an economy of transactional exchange and hierarchies. Accepting the invitation to the table of Sustainocratic co-creation they also accept the different rules within the paradigm. In the next picture we see AiREAS, the first real Sustainocratic venture created in Eindhoven (Netherlands) in 2010 to address human health in relation to air pollution. In the picture we see all authorities that have taken responsibility together with the city as “living lab”. In 2014 the same group decided to expand the Sustainocratic method throughout Europe to experiment with cultural differences in co-creation based on equality.
One of the key problems that participants face in the Sustainocratic venture is the acceptance of the working of the value driven paradigm of co-creative responsibility rather that the costly and destructive paradigm of economic transactions and relationships. In reality they experience the very first half of the STIR Loop as pictured in figure 1, with a strong spiritual impact. Values are created that need support from the old paradigm. It takes a lot of personal leadership to go back into the old system’s reality and produce the required modifications that make the loop function optimally. Each of the participating partners acts fully out of fragmented self interest. The reciprocity (reward) is however measured in the contribution to the local sustainable human progress. This has obvious economic and political values too.
The other problem we face is that none of the four pillars can be the inviting party, simply because of the hierarchical working of the old paradigm. This introduces a key part in the process, represented by the Sustainocrat, the highly spiritually aware, humble but influential, connecting representative of the Sustainocratic paradigm.
The Sustainocrat is the inviting connecting party
We have to understand that on the human system’s side none of the fragmented parties can take the initiatives without becoming dominant over the others. In some cases local governments try to take responsibility just to find themselves resolving the issues through expensive bureaucracy, calls for tendering and tediously long implementation processes that do not necessarily produce labor nor cohesion in their community or the desired results. If on the other hand a local government wants to become a facilitating partner (as in Sustainocracy) then who should take the connecting responsibility?
The side of practical spiritual values of the Universe is represented by a single (mostly a team of two) person referred to as “the Sustainocrat”. He (or she) is independent from the reigning politics and economic systems, representing the higher values of Sustainocracy (Human and Ecological). This person invites and unites the four areas that form the sustainocratic venture around a pre agreed global issue for local co-creation of solutions. The Sustainocrat initiats and chairs the STIR loop.
In the blue field we find the Sustainocrat
One of the biggest challenges of the Sustainocrat is not just to involve the institutional parties but to involve the local citizens too for social innovation. Such specialized individuals need the right level of education as well as empathy with their surroundings. The condition of independence from the system also means that the Sustainocrat is result driven out of which one is rewarded, not beforehand through a salary. In the material world of money dependence there are only few people willing to take such complex responsibility with the right capacity to interact with the hierarchies of the fragmented system structures. Within the Catholic Church a priest, under the right circumstances can be positioned as Sustainocrat with relative ease.
Within the Catholic Church a similar, especially humanitarian (the ecological issues were not present yet), commitment was asked when the Roman Empire collapsed, originating in a worldwide infrastructure that is still active today. The Catholic Church has both the infrastructure with buildings (old monasteries and churches) for the creation of a spiritual network of permanently structured STIR Loops nearby large human concentrations (s.a. cities), as well as the pastoral personnel, mentality and organization that can develop into local Sustainocrats with relative ease.
It is my firm desire to use the above to make the paradigm shift a fact across the world. I can imagine all kinds of obstacles but also acknowledge the unique times we live in a, with the Christian mission of God when blessed with both awareness and tools to protect God’s work against ourselves in a peaceful and respectful way.
I sincerely hope for your acceptance of my invitation. I remain of course available for further explanation and preparation of our important venture.
Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
Through this space, in the blog category of “books on sustainable human progress” I start to make knowledge available to you. This is part of the universal academic environment (The STIR Academy) that I am creating as part of the development of Sustainocracy as a new way of co-creating society in a value driven democratic way. In a Sustainocracy co-creative initiatives are taken in which education is always included free of charge, not free of responsibility. Via this means you get knowledge of a new society that you can process yourself. You now have a choice between paradigms. Knowledge helps you to develop awareness on which choice provides you with the best prospects to conduct your life in an exciting and sustainable way. The authors you meet here are also invited by me to take co-responsibility when Sustainocracy extends across the world. This have the same choices as you yet through their publications they show that they are maybe a step closer.
I met this extremely interesting Hungarian intellectual and author, Tóth Gergely, in September 2012 during the three day Euro-SPES encounter on Spirituality and Sustainability in Visegrad (Hungary). In Hungary we find many people with deep understanding on the subject but they publish in the very difficult local Hungarian language. I am very pleased to be able to share this document in English with you. Interesting to note is perhaps that Tóth also makes his work available to you free of charge, just like me and the others in the STIR Academy. We are convinced that knowledge is not just for those who can afford it but part of humankind that should be freely available and used for sustainable human progress.
Download 0 The TRE here
Here you’ll find the biography of Tóth Gergely he describes himself in 2009 on the back of this work:
Tóth Gergely is a Hungarian citizen who was born in 1970. Together with his wife they bring up their four children. By education he is an economist and holds an M.Sc. in Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in environmental management. He has studied and worked for long periods in the USA, Holland, Germany, Romania and the Baltic States. He is fluent in English and German. With other collegues Tóth Gergely established the Hungarian Association for Environmentally Aware Management (KÖVET) in 1995; he remained the executive director of this NGO till 2006 and has since then acted as secretary general. He also worked as the executive director and then vice president of the International Network for Environmental Management (INEM) between 2000 and 2005. Since 2006 he has been an assistant professor at the University of Pannonia in Keszthely, teaching economics, environmental management and global trade. Tóth Gergely holds 18 honors and awards, including the ‘Pro Scientia’ prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, awarded in 1995. He has managed and supervised
20+ larger projects, financed by the European Union and other donor agencies. He has contributed to 30 books, has published 50 articles in professional journals and over the last 12 years has held 180 lectures in Hungarian and international conferences and training workshops. Beyond his children, his hobbies are writing, triathlon and other sports.